Saturday, July 28, 2007

755

To some of you, 755 is just another number. But to those of us that are fans of America's pasttime, it's the most celebrated number in the sport. Hammerin' Hank Aaron clubbed 755 home runs over his career with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers. For nearly 40 years, the home run record stood at 714. The great George Herman "Babe" Ruth clubbed most of that number as a member of the famous New York Yankee teams of the 1920's and early 1930's... Many thought the Babe's record would never be broken.

The same can probably be said about Henry Aaron's 755 home run mark. For a very long time, no one seriously approached it. In the late 1990's though, players used new dietary supplements (some of which are very controversial) and put up home run totals that had been previously unseen. Roger Maris famously hit 61 home runs in 1961 to break the Babe's 34-year-old record of 60. No one had come close to approaching 60 homers (and few had even hit 50) until that famous 1998 season when both Mark McGwire (70) and Sammy Sosa (66) would shatter Maris' mark. McGwire would hit 65 homers the next year, but lingering knee injuries would force his retirement just two years later. Sosa would hit 63 homers in 1999, 50 in 2000, and 64 in 2001. Those 64 homers that Sosa hit in 2001 would not even lead the league though - that honor went to the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds who shattered McGwire's mark, clubbing 73 homers.

With his 73 home run season, it became obvious that he remained healthy, Bonds would someday approach Aaron's record. While Sosa is now just past 600 homers in spite of all of those 50+ seasons (he took last year off from the game), Bonds is now on the cusp of history. Last night he clubbed his 20th home run of the year in the Giants 12-10 victory over the Florida Marlins last night. For Bonds it was the 754th home run of his career. None of us really know for sure if Bonds (or McGwire or Sosa) put up their record breaking numbers legitimately. Someday, the truth will come out. Regardless, we're now on the brink of a historic moment. Love him/hate him, however you feel about him, Bonds' historic home run chase is "must see TV" if you're a baseball fan like me. ESPN will be televising tonight's Giants/Marlins game at 9PM ET/6PM PT. I actually have a prior engagement so I won't be able to watch tonight. I'm going to see Martina McBride along with Little Big Town in concert, but I'll have my cellphone on me so I can check on ESPN's bottom line for updates...

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1 comment:

Nate said...

A Rod will obliterate the home run record since he already has 500 and is only 30 or so years old. All he has to do is stay healthy and average 30 homers a season for the next 10 seasons to get 800!!!

CarrieFlattsEDFan13 from Pulse